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This Mod's New Year's Resolution:

federicafederica seeker of the clear blue skyIts better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

I'm thinking of reining in on rants and O/T posts. I think new year, new leaf.
Newbuddhist needs a bit of an wake-up call and update.

It's getting to be less and less about Buddhism, and more and more a personal space people can discuss whatever they want, under the occasional guise of "...in a buddhist way..."

It's also getting to be a bit like an 'old boys club', by which I mean same posters, same discussions... We haven't had much in the way of new blood, in spite of me accepting quite a number of new applicants. I'd love to be able to change that.
It's possible the general discussion atmosphere is not what they're looking for, which is a shame.

I remember when I joined, discussions were far more focused, generally...Now, IMHO, it's getting to be less and less like a Buddhist forum with other topic matters, and more and more like a general discussion group with a nod to Buddhism.

Just thought I'd put that out for general Information...

HozanNirvana

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Dear unfocussed Friends,

    Tight.
    Not too tight.
    Not drunk.
    Not too loose.

    Qualities and individual unfolding are important. New blood. New Buddhists ...
    Bravo Federica. Perhaps new moderators are a possibility ... Anyone but me. My first efforts would be:

    • Report moderators.
    • Ban myself.
    • Get rid of the mentally ill or possibly find more ...
    • Allow trolls, child friendly posters
    • Ban the Hinayana/mahayana heretics ...
    • Do a recruitment drive amongst new age Buddhists, non Buddhists, cult Buddhists, ex-Buddhists etc
    • Ensure some of the Vanilla software bugs are fixed. For example my avatar and some of other posters are no longer displaying on my Ipad ...
    • Ban all politics, life stories, mention of religion, boring posts etc etc ...

    Here to hellp 😇

    silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    image

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I think a couple extra moderators would be good. Not that you don't do a fine job @federica but it's nice to have backup and people to bounce situations off of. I moderate a few groups and I know sometimes simply my mood makes me less tolerant of various people and while I might like to kick them, having others to say "ugh, hey, what do you think?" adds a layer of ensuring I don't make snap decisions based on PMS or any other such thing. And it's nice to have a small group to discuss rules/changes/enforcement. I asked about it once years ago, and was basically told "no one wants to do it" but it's hard to say no one wants to do it if you never ask :lol:

    I do agree that it's become more of a basic forum, with a nod to Buddhism. There are times threads are started and it's almost as if a Buddhist slant to the discussion isn't even welcome by the OP. It's always good to evaluate and adjust things, especially to encourage growth and new members (IMO). It can be really hard as a new person to a group to feel like you are jumping into a "clique." You get some of that in any long-term forum but we should minimize it where we can to be more inclusionary (is that a word?)

    lobsterShoshinHozan
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Some good points, @Federica.
    I'm content knowing (quote-unquote), that there are a lot of silent fans (lurkers) who enjoy the heck out of all the 'regulars'' and what gets posted. I'm happy to know (quote-unquote) that there are many of those silent fans who've benefitted from NB.

    I think it's true that the regulars can get a little too comfortable, but still, I think it's a big reason for our charm.
    B)

    Shoshin
  • shadowleavershadowleaver Veteran
    edited January 5

    Hi @federica .

    I acknowledge that lately I haven't been on my best behavior on here. Been trying to figure my path out and have gotten a bit too carried away. Really unsteady mind lately, and it shows in my words and actions. Not proud.

    A constructive suggestion: why not create a separate section along the lines of "Criticisms of Buddhism" or "Dialogue with non-Buddhists"? Any post that hammers on Buddhist foundations (like my last two threads) can get moved there. I think there is still value in questioning everything and anything (what is Buddhism if not radical questioning?) but I totally see how such topics are not helping those who are sincerely trying to walk the path or learn about it.

    Another observation is that there are certain topics that always cause arguments, such as vegetarianism, would you kill a mosquito type of topics, as well as Trump & politics. Those can get segregated into a "controversies" area or maybe even just get automatically deleted. Nothing ever comes from them.

    I am active on another very big forum and in my observations a larger separation of topics works really well for creating spaces of positive vibes.

    Cheers and thank you for your work!

  • HozanHozan Veteran
    edited January 5

    @federica well pointed out. Agreed it has become less and less a buddhist site and more of a free for all agony aunt type situation. I hold myself very much to "blame" in this regard. I've posted my share of agony aunt posts without a buddhist angle.
    Thank you for recognising it @federica and I welcome any changes you might impĺement in this regard.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Thanks @federica for another year of doing a great job B)

    I originally came here to widen my knowledge of Buddhism, and the forum does do that. I’ve found it really useful in picking up occasional links to great resources like accesstoinsight and the book of Ajahn Chah’s complete teachings. I’ve also enjoyed the many and diverse discussions on all kinds of different aspects of Buddhism, and the links between Buddhism and other subjects, which we seem to explore on an ad-hoc basis as people have questions.

    One thing I’d like to see more of is a discussion of sutra’s on the forum. I loved @Carlita’s dhamma Sundays effort, and once in a while it pops up in other discussions. These are areas where I love to learn and discuss. I understand why it doesn’t happen so often, a lot of new members don’t have the depth of background.

    For me in my journey it helps to learn about Buddhism beyond the 4NT, the N8FP, and the 5 precepts. Yes, they are surprisingly deep teachings but they are not all there is. When we have topics that extend beyond these areas, then I read and contribute with a lot of interest.

    lobster
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    We can be a challenging bunch and you do do a great job.

    I don't really have anything to contribute except to echo @Keromes statement about @Carlitas Sunday threads but I'll do my part and try to keep better focused on the discussion at hand and not bother responding to threads that have nothing to do with Buddhism.

    Maybe I'll try to rein in the ongoing sentences too.

    Maybe.

  • HozanHozan Veteran

    I'd also like to thank you @federica for doing a wonderful job as moderator. Thank you for your support and patience. I truly hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you. Wishing you happiness and health. 💚💚

    lobsterBunksJeffrey
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "You can please some of the members some of the time but you can't please all of the members all of the time" And whatever one comes up with to improve the situation ... this will always be the case...

    Even though it is pointed out on numerous occasions by the moderator that the site does not provide a counselling or therapy service...some of the issues facing some members are issues best suited for professional counselling/therapy...However we do end up counselling each other at some point, by offering a Buddhist approach to solving certain issues that are troubling us... Take my advice...I don't use it anyway ;)

    A moderator's/site owner's job is not an easy job... Not by a long shot....

    Moderator/site owner and members alike we all have to Ride the Dukkha Waves of Samsara trying to avoid the crap floating in the water...

    However the moderator's job tends to involve......

    lobsterHozan
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Hozan said:
    I'd also like to thank you @federica for doing a wonderful job as moderator. Thank you for your support and patience. I truly hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you. Wishing you happiness and health. 💚💚

    I second that!

    I have probably used this forum as much to discuss personal issues as Buddhist topics. Mainly because there are some very wise people on here and sometimes it’s easier to discuss things with relative strangers than with those close to oneself.

    Hozan
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    edited January 6

    @federica -- I have a hunch that no matter how wondrous or rarified or specific, everything gets plain, ordinary and generalized. Put another way, if you visit a place often enough, it is bound to encourage a sense of "been there, done that."

    If "Buddhism" is roughly an effort to settle and stop fretting about the matter of "self," still there is only the "self" to work with. And if this is the case, personalized incidents -- with a side order of "Buddhism" -- is understandable.

    In the send-up movie "Zen Noir" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_Noir), there is a half-remembered scene in which a woman monk tries to explain what a "lay monk" might be. It is, she explains as best I recall, "a monk who can still get laid." Getting laid, to stick with that example, is a very personal experience that is rife with what is beyond the personal, a self-no-self situation. No one thinks about "Buddhism" when getting laid and yet getting laid pertains to or touches on or is redolent with Buddhism. It's a mash-up....

    How can anyone remain "on topic" when it comes to Buddhism? Yes, there are disciplinary pointers and yet what, in the end, is NOT Buddhism? And yet this question is simultaneously offensive and vague. Meandering away from the discipline and into a realm in which the dog pisses on the kitchen linoleum is too damned un-Buddhist in one sense. Let's stick to Buddhism, right? Your offending cuticle or mine is too self-absorbed ... and yet who can help but be self-absorbed when studying the self or an offending cuticle?

    If there is a desire to "remain on topic," well that feels too tight. If there is a tendency to meander away from the topic, well, that feels too loose. I think the best you can do -- and you do it pretty well -- is to make sure no one gets unduly offensive to another. Otherwise the best you can do is to let the water flow downhill. If the task becomes too onerous, then stop. All of us have been through phases of interest and commitment. There is no over-arching imperative to defend and promulgate The Dharma: The Dharma will take care of itself. Or, as I like to say, "Just because you are indispensable to the universe does not mean the universe needs your help." :)

    Does any of this make any sense? I can't tell, but I hope I will be forgiven for posting it. Meandering is my middle name. :)

  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    This place is a sangha...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @genkaku said:
    @federica -- I have a hunch that no matter how wondrous or rarified or specific, everything gets plain, ordinary and generalized. Put another way, if you visit a place often enough, it is bound to encourage a sense of "been there, done that."

    If "Buddhism" is roughly an effort to settle and stop fretting about the matter of "self," still there is only the "self" to work with. And if this is the case, personalized incidents -- with a side order of "Buddhism" -- is understandable.

    In the send-up movie "Zen Noir" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_Noir), there is a half-remembered scene in which a woman monk tries to explain what a "lay monk" might be. It is, she explains as best I recall, "a monk who can still get laid." Getting laid, to stick with that example, is a very personal experience that is rife with what is beyond the personal, a self-no-self situation. No one thinks about "Buddhism" when getting laid and yet getting laid pertains to or touches on or is redolent with Buddhism. It's a mash-up....

    How can anyone remain "on topic" when it comes to Buddhism? Yes, there are disciplinary pointers and yet what, in the end, is NOT Buddhism? And yet this question is simultaneously offensive and vague. Meandering away from the discipline and into a realm in which the dog pisses on the kitchen linoleum is too damned un-Buddhist in one sense. Let's stick to Buddhism, right? Your offending cuticle or mine is too self-absorbed ... and yet who can help but be self-absorbed when studying the self or an offending cuticle?

    If there is a desire to "remain on topic," well that feels too tight. If there is a tendency to meander away from the topic, well, that feels too loose. I think the best you can do -- and you do it pretty well -- is to make sure no one gets unduly offensive to another. Otherwise the best you can do is to let the water flow downhill. If the task becomes too onerous, then stop. All of us have been through phases of interest and commitment. There is no over-arching imperative to defend and promulgate The Dharma: The Dharma will take care of itself. Or, as I like to say, "Just because you are indispensable to the universe does not mean the universe needs your help." :)

    Does any of this make any sense? I can't tell, but I hope I will be forgiven for posting it. Meandering is my middle name. :)

    Yes it makes sense but you miss the gist of my intention.

    ...when I joined, discussions were far more focused, generally...Now, IMHO, it's getting to be less and less like a Buddhist forum with other topic matters, and more and more like a general discussion group with a nod to Buddhism.

    So I'm kind of harking back to the way it used to be, and as Brian intended.

    Kundo
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    OK ... more meandering from moi.

    BunksHozan
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    To add, maybe what we need is a "Sangha after hours" thread or something, LOL. Because whenever I go to a Sangha in "real life" there is loads of visiting before and after the teaching. This place kind of has to encompass it all in one spot, so maybe a single thread to contain it all, similar to the useless announcements thread or the word games one. Really, general banter covers that but I don't think most of us filter by the discussion type, and when you just look at discussion, it's all just in one spot.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 7

    @karasti I've seen video games forums with a chatroom feature. board o' games forum I think at sorcerer's place. That would be cool though I'm sure it's a nightmare to add the code for that. And the nightmare that keeps on giving to moderate a chatroom LOL. Bad idea!

    karasti
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Maybe nothing really is private and/or sacred (taboo?) anymore.
    It's hard to get used to a world like this, but everything keeps on spinning anyway.
    Gosh - there was a time when I would've never ever shared some of the stuff I have here and elsewhere.

    A day or two ago, I read an article that talked about how our digital artifacts are quite delicate, and dvd's, cd's, digital photos, etc. will be lost forever. But printed matter had the same problem. In a way it's sad, but in another - it's just like saying, 'who's gonna care in 100 years?'

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited January 7

    @silver, I'm more "Thank goodness for that!" Our local council has put a notice up in our local park that reads "Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints".
    I'm happy to lead a life like that too...

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited January 7

    There are quite a few members here who are not exclusively Buddhist, that might partly explain the lack of focus.
    Though I was puzzled by some of the ambivalent comments in this thread: http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/523921#Comment_523921

    And sometimes NB looks more like a blogging space than a discussion forum.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @SpinyNorman said:
    There are quite a few members here who are not exclusively Buddhist, that might partly explain the lack of focus.
    Though I was puzzled by some of the ambivalent comments in this thread: http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/523921#Comment_523921

    And sometimes NB looks more like a blogging space than a discussion forum.

    Yup.
    Hence my thread.

  • Aside from banning myself as @lobster resolved if he became a moderator, take Twitter's lead and limit posts to 140 characters or some such number to tighten up some of the rants. When banning the naughty, a three strike system might temper their looniness and help them become contributing members. The badge system has always seemed frivolous (just imho) and the approval emoji's conspicuously omit a "dislike" connotation for those who don't wish to respond but have an opinion.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Three strikes doesn't work. Ultimately, if someone is threatened ith a suspension, or 'strike' it just engenders bad feeling, resentment and actually invites more animosity (been there, done that).

    People should know well enough how to behave according to the rules of social interaction, courtesy, civility. If they can't behave themselves here, then where will they?
    Nope. Bad behaviour?
    Bam. Sayonara.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The best way to 'dislike' something is to ignore it completely, or if it offends, flag it.
    Facebook has no 'dislike' button. Don't see why we should have one....

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 7

    Um Perhaps we should just accept things as they are (and not how we would like them to be)....
    Change is inevitable (change is going to happen and is already happening) Suffering is optional ( desiring to change what is already "naturally" changing) :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Indeed, @Shoshin; I cannot accept things as they are, because I believe change is necessary.
    I wish to implement change, because even though it may well be inevitable, I'm hoping it will be for the better.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @federica
    As you well know desiring is a two/double edged sword.. ....

    Buddhism categorizes desires as either Tanha or Chanda. Chanda literally means "impulse, excitement, will, desire for".

    Bahm states that Chanda is "desiring what, and no more than, will be attained", while Tanha is "desiring more than will be attained". However, in early Buddhist texts, adds Bahm, the term Chanda includes anxieties and is ambiguous, wherein five kinds of Chanda are described, namely "to seek, to gain, to hoard, to spend and to enjoy". In these early texts, the sense of the word Chanda is same as Tanha.

    Some writers such as Ajahn Sucitto explain Chanda as positive and non-pathological, asserting it to be distinct from negative and pathological Tanha. Sucitto explains it with examples such as the desire to apply oneself to a positive action such as meditation. In contrast, Rhys Davids and Stede state that Chanda, in Buddhist texts, has both positive and negative connotations; as a vice, for example, the Pali text associate Chanda with "lust, delight in the body" stating it to be a source of misery.

    Chanda, states Peter Harvey, can be either wholesome or unwholesome.

    "Source"

    ....finding the balance can be tricky at the best of times ....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yeah, I think we're getting a bit side-tracked here, @Shoshin. My 'desire' is pretty basic. Improve the forum. I think going into the situation too deeply is kinda over-egging it....

    Kundo
  • @karasti said:
    I think a couple extra moderators would be good.

    I agree. I think you would make a good moderator here actually.

    lobsterHozanShoshinKerome
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Thanks for the nod, @SpinyNorman, I appreciate that you think so!

    Hozan
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    I agree with @SpinyNorman on that @karasti .

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @federica said:

    I'm thinking of reining in on rants and O/T posts. I think new year, new leaf.
    Newbuddhist needs a bit of an wake-up call and update.

    It's getting to be less and less about Buddhism, and more and more a personal space people can discuss whatever they want, under the occasional guise of "...in a buddhist way..."

    It's also getting to be a bit like an 'old boys club', by which I mean same posters, same discussions... We haven't had much in the way of new blood, in spite of me accepting quite a number of new applicants. I'd love to be able to change that.
    It's possible the general discussion atmosphere is not what they're looking for, which is a shame.

    I remember when I joined, discussions were far more focused, generally...Now, IMHO, it's getting to be less and less like a Buddhist forum with other topic matters, and more and more like a general discussion group with a nod to Buddhism.

    Just thought I'd put that out for general Information...

    Totally agree and support this stance.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @karasti said:
    I think a couple extra moderators would be good.

    I agree. I think you would make a good moderator here actually.

    As do I.

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ...Motion carried....

    lobsterkarasti
  • Tee Hee

    hope @karasti agrees

    Think of it as practice/dana/good karma ...

    karasti
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    You guys and gals have way too much faith in me :lol:
    It is something I might consider if offered. I struggle to stay in balance and put too much into modding ventures sometimes. Too much as in too much time and worry about doing everything just right, as if there is a "just right" way to do everything!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Look bud, I bin doing this for a long (13 years) time - you think I 'get everything right'....?! Think again!

    lobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited January 16

    @karasti said:
    You guys and gals have way too much faith in me :lol:

    Perhaps, but I'm not sure I would recommend anyone else here. ;)

  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    edited January 19

    @Jason said:
    As do I.

    @federica said:
    ...Motion carried....

    Y'all got Jason and Federica to agree on a new moderator in the same week, someone get me a fainting couch! :grin:

    Boring behind-the-scenes glimpse: I started a thread about adding a moderator five years ago in the staff area and someone would reply ~once a year or so but never everyone at the same time about the same person. :open_mouth:

    The 'Ayes' have it.

    WonderingSeekerkarasti
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